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What is a focus group?
- Consists of a small group usually made up of six to twelve people
- Gathers opinions, beliefs, and attitudes about issues of interest
- Group is led through an open discussion by a skilled moderator
- Allows testing of assumptions
- Encourages discussion about a particular topic
Tips for Effective Moderating
- Keep track of which questions have and have not been asked and answered
- Know how to phrase questions that encourage participants to provide elaborate, detailed (rather than brief) responses
- Ask questions that elicit participant’s own views and experiences as opposed to reflecting the convictions of the moderator
- Ask one question at a time, verifying unclear responses,
- Use follow-ups and probes
- Remain neutral by asking open-ended questions and avoiding leading questions
Adapted from Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector's Field Guide